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Aspiration over adversity: Adam Treloar, the Collingwood superstar guiding a new generation of footballers

ADAM Treloar could do a lot of things with his spare time. He could relax and recuperate. He could hang out with his footy mates. He could join Instagram.

Instead, the Collingwood superstar chooses to spend his down time coaching under 12s footy. Not in an attempt to set up a post-retirement career as a top-level coach, but to give back to the community that gave him so much.

This is the story of Treloar’s intrinsic connection to two footy clubs that couldn’t be further apart in everything, except for what matters most.

Even with the advantage of a privileged upbringing, few aspiring footballers achieve national recognition. So, given the challenges Adam Treloar faced as a young boy growing up in the working-class Noble Park area of Greater Dandenong – the scale of his success today is all the more admirable.

Growing up 25 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, things weren’t always easy for Treloar and his family.

“We didn’t really have much,” he said in a special interview for CGU Insurance. “We didn’t have what other people had.”

What Treloar did have was a passion for footy, and he exercised it at Noble Park footy club.

But the financial restraints Treloar’s family faced meant that they didn’t always have enough fuel in the car to take him to practice, or enough money in the bank to pay for registration. But Noble Park footy club saw Treloar’s potential – and his enthusiasm for the game – so they made sure that Treloar didn’t miss out. 

“There were times when I couldn’t get to training because we didn’t have a car,” Treloar says. “They (the club) would always find ways to get me to the club.”

“If I was playing Under 10s or 11s that didn’t matter … I was playing and that’s all they wanted me to do.”

Noble Park footy club’s efforts weren’t in vain. At just 17, Treloar was signed by Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants. 
Despite his soaring success in Sydney, after 3 years away, Treloar was ready to go home to Melbourne. And the only place that felt right to him was Collingwood. Not because it’s the biggest club in the country, but because it was just like Noble Park: rich in determination and community spirit.

Now that he is back in Melbourne, Treloar isn’t missing the opportunity to give back to the club that made him. And while there are plenty of other ways he could spend his time, coaching the under 12s, what he believes are the formative years, at Noble Park footy club is on top of his list.

For Treloar, this is about doing for these kids what was done for him.

“I like to think of … when I was younger and how I was helped off the field and that’s what I want to do for them,” Treloar says.

The Noble Park Under 12s side has gone from not winning a game in 2017 to being on track for finals footy in 2018 – unsurprising given how they hang on to every word Treloar says. 

And there’s no doubt the Magpies and Noble Park – and the man that connects them – share a lot of common values, with commitment to community at their roots.

“When I nominated Collingwood, my manager said, ‘You’ve got to grow a thick skin because when you’re winning it’s going to be awesome, but when you’re losing it’s going to feel like it’s the worst thing in the world’.”

That’s when being committed to the Collingwood family matters most – and Adam Treloar certainly knows a thing or two about that.